|Publication number||US7246830 B2|
|Application number||US 10/864,883|
|Publication date||Jul 24, 2007|
|Filing date||Jun 10, 2004|
|Priority date||Jun 13, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1289360C, CN1572666A, DE602004002034D1, DE602004002034T2, EP1486430A1, EP1486430B1, US20050001386|
|Publication number||10864883, 864883, US 7246830 B2, US 7246830B2, US-B2-7246830, US7246830 B2, US7246830B2|
|Inventors||Daniel Graves, Chris Benning|
|Original Assignee||Itw Limited|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (1), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims benefit of U.K. Application Serial No. 03 13764.3, filed Jun. 13, 2003, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to a seal comprising a head and a strap, the head having a chamber with an aperture through which the end of the strap can be fed, means being provided within the chamber to engage the strap so that it cannot be pulled out in the opposite direction.
The strap of this type of seal generally has serrations or teeth formed along its length so that when it is passed through an aperture in the head part it cannot be pulled out. This seal, often known as a ‘pull-up seal’, provides a tie which can be put around the neck of a bag, and then pulled tight. Because the seal cannot be removed without cutting the tail or separating the head from the tail, the seal provides a tamper evident closure for bags which may contain valuable or sensitive material. Typically, the head part is printed with a unique number, so that one seal cannot be removed and replaced by a fresh seal without this replacement being evident.
Seals with straps which are not serrated are also known. The strap can thus be smooth and the head includes angled teeth or barbs which engage the strap if it is pulled back out of the aperture in the wrong direction.
Pull-up seals are typically used to seal cash bags, property bags and clinical waste bags, but can also be used to lock items other than bags, for example roll cages or tanker valves, to take just two examples.
In a simple version of this type of seal, the seal is moulded as one integral part, the head part having an aperture of specific dimensions which will allow the serrations on the tail to pass through in one direction, but prevent the tail from being pulled out. The serrations are usually formed with an inclined leading edge, so that they can pass under a catch within the head.
In another version of a pull-up seal, the aperture is formed through a separate metal or acetal resin insert which is moulded into a chamber in the head part during the injection moulding of the strap, in other words the chamber is injection moulded around the insert. This provides a seal with a high degree of security, as the locking part within the chamber is not susceptible to tampering. However, this process for manufacturing seals is relatively expensive and difficult to perform reliably.
The object of the invention is to provide an improved seal which can be manufactured easily and reliably while providing a high degree of security.
According to the invention there is provided a seal comprising a head and a strap, the head having a chamber with an aperture through which the end of the strap can be fed, means being provided within the chamber to engage the strap so that it cannot be pulled out in the opposite direction, the engaging means comprising a separate clip having arms which can flex to provide a variable gap as the strap is pulled through. The arms of the clip extend away from a base and have at their ends engagement portions which extend inwardly and/or laterally to define the gap, the engagement portions engaging behind the serrations on the strap upon its insertion into the head.
The clip may be mounted in an insert which in turn is fitted in the chamber of the seal. The resilient arms of the clip may have overlapping apertured elements at their ends, the degree of overlap providing the variable gap for the strap. The apertured elements can be substantially circular, and preferably the arms are mounted on a circular base with a central aperture.
The insert is preferably substantially cylindrical in shape. The chamber on the head of the seal can also be substantially cylindrical.
The insert may include an engagement rim, lug or recess under which the clip locates, in order to mount the clip within the insert.
The insert can be fitted in the chamber of the seal by ultrasonic welding, or heat sealing, for example melting the top of the chamber over the insert upon its fitting into the chamber.
The invention also provides a seal comprising a head and a strap, the head having a chamber with an aperture through which the end of the strap can be inserted, the chamber including engagement means to engage the strap so that it cannot be pulled out in the opposite direction, wherein the engagement means, for example a toothed element, is mounted in a insert formed of plastics material, this insert being fixed in the chamber of the seal with the engagement means innermost. This provides the advantage that the engagement means are position so that they cannot be tampered with.
The invention further provides a method of forming a seal of the type which has a head part and a strap, the head part having an apertured chamber through which the end of the strap can be inserted in a non-reversible fashion, wherein a clip with engagement means is placed within an insert, the insert is placed in the chamber, and the insert is then fixed within the chamber.
Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described in detail, by example only, with reference to the following drawings, wherein:
The seal of
As indicated by the enlarged detail A in
As shown in
The description so far applies equally to a prior art pull-up seal. The present invention differs from the prior art in a surprisingly advantageous fashion through the design within the chamber 3.
The insert 9 is generally cylindrical in shape with a central cylindrical recess 11. The lower end of the insert 9 is open whereas the upper end is formed with a narrow central aperture 12. The head 1 of the seal may be formed with a centering lug 13 to aide fitting of the insert 9.
The insert 9 may be fixed within the chamber walls 8 in a variety of different ways. In the embodiment of
Although the chamber and insert have so far been described as being substantially cylindrical, it will be understood that other shapes are possible and that the cross section of the chamber and insert need not be circular (e.g. the cross-section could be rectangular). However, if the chamber and insert are circular then the clip may be formed as illustrated in
The arms 15 of the clip 10 are formed so that the apertures of the clip rings 16 do not exactly register. Thus, the aperture which the two clip rings together present in their un-flexed condition is slightly smaller than the aperture which is formed when the rings do register. The aperture formed by the clip rings when they to register is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the serrations 6 of the strap.
Because the arms have a degree of resilience, the leading edges of the serrations 6 of the strap will tend to force the clip rings 16 apart, when the strap is pushed through the chamber of the seal, the clip rings then locating behind each serration. This mechanism for locking the strap into the chamber is very efficient and reliable. Furthermore, because the clip is located within the chamber, with the clip rings inaccessible from outside, a high degree of security is provided to the seal.
It will be appreciated that other designs of resilient clip are possible. It is not essential that the clip is formed of a generally cylindrical shape, though this is convenient. The arms may be formed with differently shaped outer ends or clip parts acting as engagement members (which need not be apertured) provided the ends or clip parts cooperate together to form a gap which can be widened upon insertion of the strap but which will narrow again, because of the resilient construction of the clip, so as to lock the strap into place. For example, each arm of the clip may be “L” shaped, the feet of the “L” shaped arms forming engagement members which flex apart to allow passage of the strap therebetween.
It will be noted that in the clip 10 of
The clip 10 can be fitted within the inserts 9 in a simple fashion, for example by hand. This sort of fitting of the clip is possible because the insert is subsequently fixed to the seal, thus locking the clip into place. For example, the clip can be fitted in the insert by the base part 14 locating behind a ridge 21 within the insert (see
Other ways of fitting the clip within the insert are equally possible. For example, the insert may be split along its axis so that the clip can be placed inside and then the two halves of the inserts fitted together. Alternatively, the insert could be open on one side and the clip could be pushed in from the side, located behind a locating ridge. Because the insert is then sealed within the chamber walls, it is not a disadvantage that the insert is open to one side.
As already mentioned, the strap of the seal is to be inserted through the bottom of the head as shown in
Other mechanisms for preventing the strap from being inserted from the wrong side of the head of the seal are possible. For example, the angled teeth could be formed on the aperture 12 of the insert, rather than on the clip (the teeth could be plastic or metal). Alternatively, the aperture of the insert could have a flap which opens only one way, or a baffle which is broken only by insertion of the strap the correct way.
A slightly different form of insert is illustrated in
In addition to providing a seal with a new and improved locking mechanism within the chamber, the invention also concerns an improved method of making a seal. In this method, the insert is formed with a clip with engaging means (for example angled teeth), the insert then being fitted within a chamber by welding or heat sealing, or any other known mechanism. For example, an insert with another form of metal clip is illustrated in
The insert is then inserted into the chamber wall (which can be rectangular in plan view, or circular as desired) on the head part of the seal, with the metal clip at the bottom. The insert can then be sealed within the chamber using any known method, for example as discussed above in relation to
The strap and head and chamber parts of the seal will typically be formed of polyethylene or polypropylene, or any other suitable plastic material as would be known to the man skilled in the art.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US5056837 *||Jul 24, 1990||Oct 15, 1991||Stoffel Seals Corporation||Tamper resistant shackle seal with assembled locking components|
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|FR2807740A1||Title not available|
|WO2001054102A1||Jan 17, 2001||Jul 26, 2001||Tibor Neumann||Tamper resistant seal|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8512306||Jan 21, 2009||Aug 20, 2013||Cardinal Health 414, Llc||Radiopharmaceutical unit dose container tamper evident safety seal|
|U.S. Classification||292/307.00R, 292/328, 292/325|
|International Classification||B65D63/10, B65D27/30, E05B39/02|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D63/1054, Y10T292/48, Y10T292/505, Y10T292/528|
|Sep 9, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ITW LIMITED, UNITED KINGDOM
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GRAVES, DANIEL;BENNING, CHRIS;REEL/FRAME:015115/0314;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040609 TO 20040628
|Jan 24, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 26, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8